CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night got a tour of the Clear Lake Athletic and Wellness Center. The $10.6 million, 81,000 square-foot facility located on the south side of the high school campus is about two weeks away from opening.
Center director Adam Long says two key components of the center still need to be finished up before a soft opening takes place on January 31st. “We’ve got the indoor playground being installed on January 24th, which is very exciting, especially since I placed that order July 21st. So we’ll get that coming in. We are waiting for the field turf for the fieldhouse portion. Everything else is ready to go, so that January 31st date is I think is going to be realistic and we’re getting really excited.”
The center includes a state-of-the-art weight room and exercise facility which Long says will well serve the community. “I know the City Council probably had wide eyes when I came and tried to get all that equipment approved, but I think once they’ve seen it, and once they see what type of quality it is, and I think when our community is able to utilize that equipment, I think they are going to know why I did that. It’s very high-quality equipment, which it’s a very high-quality building so I think we need to fill it high-quality equipment.”
One of the things that will not be ready when the center has a “soft opening” on January 31st is the field turf will not be installed. Long says it’s a case of what most construction projects of any kind are facing nowadays, a supply issue. “I really didn’t realize how hard it was for manufacturers to get the turf. For some reason, making the turf right now in this climate is very hard to come by for some reason. I wish I had a better answer why it’s so hard to come by, but for some reason the manufacturers can’t obtain a lot of the turf. That’s the one big thing that we’re waiting on.”
Voters in March 2020 approved an $18 million bond issue for the center as well as improvements to Lions Field, the high school gymnasium area, Clear Creek Elementary and E. B. Stillman Auditorium.